When you first hear the words “knitting” or “crochet,” you might think of your grandmother or an elderly lady sitting on a park bench busy with needles and yarn. When I think of knitting or crochet, I think of endless possibilities. Crochet and Knitting are beautiful forms of art, starting with a ball of yarn, a hook or needle, and a lot of patience.
“There is something about sitting down and hyper-focusing on a task that makes me feel calm, accomplished, and so cozy.”
I actually started crochet when my cousin taught me around six or seven years old and didn’t pick up crochet again until a few years later when I was twelve. I dropped the hobby again, but it stuck when I started up again at the beginning of quarantine. Not only did I renew my love of crochet, but I expanded this interest in knitting. There is something about sitting down and hyper-focusing on a task that makes me feel calm, accomplished, and so cozy.
Not only is it something that allows me to set time aside for myself, but it also enables me to lower my heart rate and take a mental break. 2020 has certainly posed challenges to us all, and crochet and knitting have helped me through all of them. I tend to pick at my fingers or my lips when I get nervous or overwhelmed, so when I feel this coming, I pick up a hook or a needle and fiddle away with yarn instead. In fact, an article by Lexington Square says,
“Studies demonstrate that knitting can reduce blood pressure, primarily due to the meditative benefits of the hobby. In fact, knitting works in much the same ways a yoga, by triggering a relaxation response that reduces your blood pressure.”
In terms of lowering one’s heart rate, the article also says, “Studies show the repetitive movement of knitting along with the clinking sounds made by the needles, trigger a physiological effect that helps lower your heart rate. By effectively lowering your heart rate, you can reduce the strain on your heart caused by a faster heart rate or chronic tachycardia.” Not only does crochet and knitting help short term, but it also helps your health long term.
“One day you might feel like crocheting a stuffed animal for your baby sister, and another you find yourself knitting a sweater for your dad.”
While it often seems like repetitively crocheting or knitting might get old or redundant, this is not the case. There are so many patterns, stitches, and techniques out there for you to discover. One day you might feel like crocheting a stuffed animal for your baby sister, and another you find yourself knitting a sweater for your dad. The possibilities are endless! I have crocheted and knitted scarves, beanies, stuffed animals, socks, and even a crocheted hat for my cat (he looks adorable in it btw.) I have so many things I’m working on or planning to work on as well. I’m working on another beanie, another pair of socks, a sweater, and a stuffed bunny.
Not only is it fun to make little delights for yourself, but crochet and knitting projects make wonderful, thoughtful gifts to loved ones over the holidays. Some great gift ideas span anywhere from mug cozies to plant pot covers to gloves to dog sweaters to so much more. And something that’s great about both is you get to customize the project however you want. If you look up a pattern for a winter headband but you don’t like the color yarn they use, you can pick out the yarn of your choosing. If you find the scarf you want to make is too bulky, choose a thinner yarn and a smaller needle or hook size.
“Indeed, it often takes a lot of patience…at least this patience leads to a warm and cozy blanket!”
There are so many resources out there for you to begin your crochet or knitting journey. I recommend sites like Ravelry and Pinterest to help get the inspiration started. YouTube channels like TL Yarn Crafts, Craftsy, HappyBerry Knitting, and Sheep & Stitch cover all of the bases for beginners of crochet or knitting. There has even been a rise in the popularity of crochet and knitting TikToks! It might seem a bit intimidating or overwhelming when you first get started, but I promise, it’s not as hard as it looks. Indeed, it often takes a lot of patience, but doesn’t everything take patience these days? At least this patience leads to a warm and cozy blanket! Also do not be afraid to mess up on a project. The best way to learn is to completely mess up a project so that you can learn what you did wrong. Just jump in!